ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Two days later, receiver Stevie Johnson still can’t get over how the Buffalo Bills botched their final play in a loss to the New England Patriots last weekend.
On Tuesday, Johnson second-guessed why a more experienced receiver wasn’t targeted on a play that ended with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing an interception into the end zone to seal a 37-31 loss. And Johnson also came to T.J. Graham’s defense, saying the rookie receiver shouldn’t be faulted for running the wrong route because he had never attempted it in practice.
“I don’t think it was the wrong play. But just the whole thing leading up to it,” Johnson said, noting that there were players more familiar at running the route.
“We had people in positions where maybe they shouldn’t have been. So who knows what would’ve happened if it was Donald (Jones), me or Scott (Chandler) there. So it’s no blame on T.J. at all, because he’s never run that route in practice or in a game.”
The play in question occurred with 28 seconds left and after the Bills marched 65 yards to the Patriots 15 with a chance to pull out a comeback victory, and end an 11-game losing streak at Foxborough, Mass.
Graham took the blame for what happened immediately following the game and again Tuesday, saying, “That’s fine. I appreciate that. But it was my fault. Somebody’s got to take the blame for it.”
Graham added that he had indeed practiced the play, but not since training camp.